Climate Ready Casco Bay

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Eleven CClimate Ready Casco Bay Opens in new windowasco Bay coastal communities are working together to prepare for the environmental, social, and economic impacts of flooding caused by the climate crisis. The two-year project aims to engage people whose livelihoods are affected by coastal flooding and to help develop nature-based solutions.

Natural solutions harness the power of nature to defend against flooding. Examples in Maine include: salt-marsh restoration, rain gardens, parks and open spaces, beach dune restoration and shoreline protection using natural materials. Natural solutions can be more sustainable and less expensive than hard infrastructure, such as sea walls. Participants learn about best practices, collect data, and conduct analysis and research so they can develop projects that are ready to be designed.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has awarded $250,000 to the Greater Portland Council of Governments, which has raised an additional $250,000 in matching funds from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, foundation grants and in-kind donations from municipalities. The communities involved are: Brunswick, Freeport, Yarmouth, Cumberland, Falmouth, Portland, South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough, Chebeague Island and Long Island. 

Project Goals 

  • Increased knowledge and capacity in municipalities for making decisions that protect habitats and build resilience to climate change.  
  • Identification of high priority coastal resilience projects. 
  • A regional resilience plan identifying specific community and ecosystem resilience needs, recommended actions and best practices to mitigate a variety of climate risks. 
  • An online portal supplementing the resilience plan and making it more accessible to the region.